Monday, November 22, 2010

Randy Newman’s Born Again

Sixth album of Randy Newman occurred a little bit weaker presentation than its predecessors: Little Criminals and especially earlier Good Old Boys. Trying to continue the pattern with provocative song on opening of the A side, Randy Newman placed on first row the real apotheosis of money. Trying to convince listeners the love for money is as good as love for anything else… and sometimes even better, he noticed he doesn’t love Jesus. In second chorus he says: They say that's money / Can't buy love in this world / But it'll get you a half-pound of cocaine / And a sixteen-year old girl / And a great big long limousine / On a hot September night / Now that may not be love / But it is all right. If somebody was still unsure about Randy’s intentions, this exposure can help to see this work as a regular iconoclastic.
Released in August 1979, album was a quite good attempt to bring Newman’s songs closer to the rock style. This time the choice of rock was meaningful gesture against the culture of the discotheque and pop culture. Despite how excellent musical setting is, this time songs doesn’t rock as firmly as these from Newman’s earlier recordings. His attitude is still sarcastic and mocking. In one of best works he is satirically mythologizing career of pop music band Electric Light Orchestra (The Story of Rock and Roll Band).

Randy Newman’s Born Again

Not like in Good Old Boys it is hard to find the second bottom for this songs. Many of them are just wider continuation of personal misfits stories from Little Criminals. Like those in closing the A-side They Just Got Married. The same as before Newman’s sense of humor is presenting by Spies, a document of still alive in ’70s suspiciousness against undercover agents of foreign special forces. Sometimes he is just a serious songwriter, sensitive to social problems and honest in his endeavours. In the lack of mercy, Kiss-like-painted Randy just gives us a hint how not to be merciful. And this makes him a Vonnegut of popular song. His consequence in breaking the clichés can convince, that Randy Newman is one of greatest songwriters of our times. Even if it’s hard to find any reason to take too seriously this production, full of witty lyrics and well balanced instrumental parts are enough good to save Born Again in memory.

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